Preparing for Emergencies

With the devastating tornados in the Dallas Fort Worth area on Tuesday, April 3, Texoma Emergency Managers are constantly keeping safety top of mind.

Emergency Managers are at the 2012 Texas Emergency Management Conference in San Antonio.

Wichita Falls' Emergency Manager, John Henderson says this conference helps spread ideas and plans to stay ready for any emergency.

He said,"You take that information back to your community and you try to apply it."

Henderson has been to the Texas Emergency Management Conference for several years in a row, but this year he says it's the lessons learned from the Bastrop fire that is the main topic.

"There are things we are discussing and things that we want to try to bring back and ideas that can really help us in the response," Henderson said.

He added that one of the biggest take away's, so far, has been learning to communicate with citizens in the midst of an emergency.

He said,"That's what we want, to get not only any information, but good and correct information and that's really important."

While our local emergency responders have done a great job, Henderson said the area that needs the greatest improvement is communication.

"I think sometimes we fall down on that."

He plans to use Facebook and Twitter to reach out to Texomans because social media plays such a big part in emergency preparedness.  Still, Henderson says we need more than those types of connections to be prepared.

"The time to learn somebody is not when a disaster hits," he said.

It's also important to establish connections with near by counties that could offer their help in case of an emergency.  It's the common goal of each emergency responder at the conference to make sure they have to best tools to keep the state safe and ready.

"We're not through learning but we are still working together and trying to make Texas a better place to live," he added.

Taelor Rian, Newschannel 6.